Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Week Ahead & CM Charles Allen Will Not Support Re-opening 7th Street to Car Traffic on Weekends

EMCAC Executive Committee hears from residents and stakeholders on the status of 7th Street

The Week Ahead & CM Charles Allen Will Not Support Re-opening 7th Street to Car Traffic on Weekends

The Week Ahead…

Tuesday, August 15

EMCAC will hold a second meeting to discuss the status of 7th Street, at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 15, in the North Hall of Eastern Market.  (ANC6B will consider the future of the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, at a special meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 7:30pm at Hill Center.)

CM Charles Allen Will Not Support Re-opening 7th Street to Car Traffic on Weekends

By Larry Janezich

Councilmember Charles Allen told Capitol Hill Corner, “I don’t support re-opening 7th Street to car traffic on weekends. The pedestrian plaza, community space, and temporary real estate for local small businesses created on weekends is a valuable part of the Eastern Market and Capitol Hill experience.”

The statement came shortly after a meeting on Saturday, hosted by the Executive Committee of Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), to hear from residents on re-opening the street.  EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder announced she had received 65 emails supporting one side of the other from people who could not attend today’s meeting. Email Scheeder here:  donna_scheeder@comcast.net

At Saturday’s meeting, attended by 25 interested parties, 16 stakeholders and residents spoke for or against re-opening 7th Street, reiterating in person arguments reported previously on this blog: http://bit.ly/2uOmJT5 Also, it emerged during the meeting that several Eastern Market food service vendors had withdrawn their support for re-opening all of 7th Street, reversing their position on a “position paper” circulated last week by Tommy Glasgow of Market Lunch, in support of re-opening.

In addition, some of the brick and mortar businesses on the 300 block of 7th Street said they wanted a better understanding of what might happen on the 300 block of 7th Street before saying yea or nay to re-opening.  If the 300 block remains closed, Eastern Market Manager Barry Margeson has indicated that Eastern Market (under authority granted it to regulate 7th Street) would call for bids from those interested in programming the block.  (Mike Berman and Carol Wright, who run the Saturday and Sunday flea markets, would certainly be among those bidders.)

The hesitation of the brick and mortar outlets is understandable. First, there is the uncertainty of how the Hine Project retail will regard a row of tents set up in 7th Street in front of their (likely) high-end retail/food service venues.  Setting up in the middle of the street may not be feasible – the brick and mortars fear the superior clout of the Hine retail will push the tents back on their side of the street.  In addition, there is concern that programming of the block will bring direct competition for their shops – like the Sunday flea market allowing Vigilante Coffee to set up nearly in front of Peregrine.

EMCAC and ANC6B are the government entities which will carry the community commentary to the Department of General Services and the Department of Transportation who will determine whether the street remains closed.  EMCAC will hold a second meeting at 7:00pm on Tuesday, August 15, in the North Hall of Eastern Market.  ANC6B will consider the future of the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, at a special meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 7:30pm at Hill Center.

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The Future of Eastern Market, Part 1. 30 Eastern Market Food Merchants Oppose Closure of 7th Street

The 200 block of 7th Street, where the weekend arts and craft vendors set up.

The 300 block of 7th Street, current home to the Saturday and Sunday flea markets.

The unfinished newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Streets, is where the weekend flea markets will move to from the 300 block of 7th once they get the green light from Eastbanc.

The Future of Eastern Market, Part 1.  30 Eastern Market Food Merchants Oppose Closure of 7th Street

by Larry Janezich

Thirty* Eastern Market inside and outside merchants, farmers and food vendors have signed a position paper opposing the weekend closure of 7th Street between North Carolina and Pennsylvania Avenue.

The statement, circulated by Tommy Glasgow of Market Lunch, claims “The road closure has created a real accessibility issue that has had a negative effect on our fresh food sales, is problematic for our farmers, and of great concern to all of us in regards to the long-term viability of the fresh food Market.

We recommend 7th Street be re-opened one-way south bound. The new configuration will save resources, solve many of the Markets access/egress issues, and provide a safer and more enjoyable shopping experience for all visitors, especially those with disabilities.”

Glasgow says, “It’s not so much an issue of whether the street is open or closed, but whether the community wishes to have an old-fashioned food market.”

If the street were reopened, those most affected would be the 36 arts and crafts vendors who set up in 7th Street outside the Market in the 200 block between C Street and North Carolina Avenue.  The 200 block was closed my Mayoral order following the restoration of Eastern Market after the disastrous 2006 fire, to accommodate the arts/crafts vendors and to facilitate access to the Market.  Reopening the street, they say, would put them out of business.  One of the vendors, artist Joe Snyder, says “There would be a lot of people who would lose their livelihood.”  He acknowledges that the vendors could be relocated, “…but not to a place that would enable them to earn a living.”

The supporters of reopening the street to traffic are taking advantage of the timing on the city’s pending decision on whether to reopen the 300 block of 7th Street between C Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to weekend vehicular traffic.  That block was closed to traffic to accommodate the two flea markets which were displaced from the Hine School playground by construction of the Hine project.

Those Saturday and Sunday flea markets in 7th Street’s 300 block are separate and distinct from the arts and crafts vendors which operate on 7th Street in the 200 block.  The flea markets are operated respectively by Carol Wright and Mike Berman.

Upon completion of the newly reopened C Street between 7th and 8th Street, the two flea markets will move there, under contract with Stanton Eastbanc.  (By an agreement with the city, the street will be private and maintained by Eastbanc, but open to public parking and vehicular traffic unless programmed by Eastbanc for other purposes.)  Eastbanc’s project manager has said that C Street will be finished and ready for the flea markets by September 30.

If C Street is ready for the flea markets by September 30, Berman says that since his contract with the city to operate on 7th Street runs through the end of October, and since he will have two valid contracts, he will continue to use the 7th Street through the end of October, as well as C Street.  “What happens after that,” he says, “depends on (Eastern Market Manager) Barry Margeson.”

Berman says he supports 7th Street remaining closed to traffic and an independent manager to operate there.  Opening the street, he says, will not solve the Eastern Market merchants’ problems and will not provide additional customer parking.

Wright says that her vendors prefer to stay on 7th Street, but she will move her Saturday operation onto C Street as soon as Eastbanc says that the street is ready for occupancy.  Eastbanc hopes that date will be September 30, but if it slips beyond October 31, both she and Berman will have to go back to the city to extend their 7th Street contract.  Wright wrote a letter to the city saying that she would like to continue to operate on 7th Street, but will do what the community wants – if that is a decision to open 7th Street, she would like to revisit the question in a year.

The Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) has called a special meeting for Saturday, August 12, at 3:00pm in the Coldwell Banker training room at 605 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  ANC6B will consider the future of the 300 block of 7th Street, SE, at a special meeting on Tuesday, August 29th, 7:30pm at Hill Center.

Councilmember Charles Allen did not respond to an email asking for comment on this story.

*Blue Iris Flowers, Bowers Fancy Dairy Products, Canales Quality Meats, Capitol Hill Poultry, Eastern Market Grocery,  Fine Sweet Shoppe, Capitol Hill Produce, Southern Maryland Seafood, Union Meat, Market Poultry, The Market Lunch, Buds Creek Farm Agora Farms, Dunham’s Produce, Knopp’s Farms, Long Meadow Farm, Sunnyside Farm, Ashton Farms, Morgals Produce, Gardeners Gourmet, Swiss Peeler, Tony’s Flowers, Ma Browns Baked Goods. Puddin’, She Peppers, Boso Foods, The Freshmobile, The Pretzel Place, Mano de Maiz, Conceptos.

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Community Organization Forms to “Adopt an Urn” at Lincoln Park

PLANT Volunteers are left to right Allegra, Zemy the dog, Jocelyn, Ranger Vince and Karen Cohen. Photo credit: Karen Cohen

Community Organization Forms to “Adopt an Urn” at Lincoln Park

by Larry Janezich

Karen Cohen, Master Gardener and frequenter of Lincoln Park says she wondered “What are these things? “ – referring to the 15 large decorative urns ringing the inner oval of Lincoln Park.  That question lead to the formation of a community group of 17 volunteers – “PLANTS” (People Leading Active Lives Near their Site) to participate in a DIY project to plant and maintain the urns – “Adopt an Urn”.

Cohen contacted National Park Service (NPS) Ranger Vince Vaise and worked out an annually renewable  contract under which the volunteers in the group are responsible to care for the urns at their own expense, are subject to a Volunteer Services Agreement, and guarantee that the work will be supervised.

The NPS emptied the urns of compacted earth and replaced it with potting soil.  Cohen appealed to Frager’s Garden Shop to donate additional potting soil and flowers.  There’s no water in the park so volunteers have to trek to the park with jugs.

The park was part of Pierre L’enfant’s original 1791 plan for the District.  In 1867, Congress named the park Lincoln Square – the first site to bear Lincoln’s name.  The statue was dedicated April 14, 1876, with Frederick Douglas delivering the keynote address.

The monument to Mary McLeod Bethune to the east was dedicated July 10, 1974.  It was the first monument to honor an African American woman in a public park in the District of Columbia.

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Should Eastern Market’s 7th St. Stay Closed Weekends? Special Meeting Saturday to Hear From Public

View of the 200 block of 7th Street, SE, between Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue, SE

Should Eastern Market’s 7th St. Stay Closed Weekends? Special Meeting Saturday to Hear From Public

By Larry Janezich

The Executive Committee of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) will hold a special meeting on Saturday August 12, to discuss whether 7th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. and North Carolina Avenue, S.E., especially the portion between PA Ave and C Street, S.E, should remain closed to traffic on weekends after the Saturday and Sunday flea markets move to their new location on C Street between the Hine Project’s North and South Buildings on September 31.

Members of the public who want their voices heard can attend the meeting on Saturday, at 3:00pm in the Coldwell Banker training room. Coldwell Banker is located at 605 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.

For those who cannot attend the meeting, please respond email EMCAC Chair Donna Scheeder with your comments at donna_scheeder@comcast.net

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The Week Ahead…& Photo Essay Update on Barracks Row

The Week Ahead……& Photo Essay Update on Barracks Row

by Larry Janezich

Not much happening in the week ahead, as Washington goes on vacation.  PSA 104 is meeting at 7:00pm, on Tuesday, August 8, at Stuart Hobson Middle School, 410 E Street, NE, but that’s pretty much it.

Here’s a photo essay on some recent changes on Barracks Row.

The notorious Barracks Row 7 Eleven has started piping opera to the streetscape in front of its store to combat loitering and panhandling.  Note the speaker, upper right.  Will it work?  The jury’s still out.

Here’s a shot of the interior of ANXO – the new Spanish cidery and Basque style snack outlet at 525 8th Street. Their menu is here:  http://www.anxodc.com/porron

Skill Zone, at 709 8th Street, where children “Play, Learn, Grow” is applying for a private club liquor license so parents accompanied by a child can have a glass of wine or beer while their children are at play. According to owner Liza Fox, the license will also allow parents to bring their own alcoholic beverages to the venue’s birthday parties where the entire space is rented for the event.  Visit their website here:  https://skillzonedc.com/

The space formerly occupied by Capital Teas at 731 8th Street is looking for a new “great tenant” according to owner Barbara Fahs Charles bcharles@staplesandcharles.com  Capital Teas filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

The Vanity Box, offering Brazilian, Indian & Malaysian virgin hair, closures & frontals, hair care products, tools & accessories, opened recently at 737 Barracks Row.   See here:  https://www.thevanityboxhair.com/

 

 

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Update on the Hine Project South Buildings: Tenants Will Start Moving In During September – Flea Markets Relocate Sept 30

The apartments overlooking the corner of 7th and C Street – and Eastern Market – will be occupied starting in September.

The newly opened C Street between the North and South Buildings of the Hine project will open to the weekend flea markets the weekend of September 31.

Update on the Hine Project South Buildings: Tenants Will Start Moving In During September – Flea Markets Relocate Sept 30

By Larry Janezich

According to an Eastbanc representative, the apartments on the Northwest corner of the Hine project’s South Building overlooking the new C Street Plaza and Eastern Market are currently being marketed and tenants are expected to start moving in September.  See Eastbanc partner Bozzuto Management Company’s promotional page here:   http://bit.ly/2hvvj7P

Last January, tenants moved into the 34 affordable units in the North Building (managed by Buwa Binites’ Dantes Partners).  The project’s remaining residences – overlooking 8th Street – are still under construction and will not be finished before October.

The below grade Trader Joe’s will front on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the center of the project’s south facade.  No date has been announced, but Trader Joe’s is likely to open in the late fall.  No information has been released regarding tenants for the ten ground floor retail spaces along 7th Street and on the 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue corner of the project.

The Eastbanc representative says that negotiations are underway with an operator for the day care center on the 8th and D Streets corner of the building.  The amenity is being mentioned in the marketing of the residences, raising the question of whether tenants will be given preference.

The newly reopened C Street between the North and South Buildings will be available to the weekend market vendors for set up on Saturday, September 30, and Sunday, October 1.  C Street will be open for traffic and metered parking starting on Monday, October 2.   Flea market managers have signed three-year contracts to operate on C Street and the Plaza.

Regarding whether or not 7th Street between C Street and Pennsylvania Avenue remains closed once the flea market vendors relocate will be the subject of discussion at two prospective community meetings – one hosted by ANC6B and the other by Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC).  Dates of the meetings have not yet been set but are likely to occur at the end of August.

Work on the below grade 320 parking space garage is proceeding, and once completed the occupancy permit will allow use of the garage by project workers which will relieve pressure on neighborhood parking.  Under an agreement with the community, any residential tenants of the building will not be eligible for Residential Parking Permits on nearby streets.

The office space portion of the project, overlooking 7th Street, will not be available before November 1.  So far, one tenant – a company offering shared office space – has been announced.

ANC6B negotiated office space for itself within the project during the PUD process as one item in the community benefits package in exchange for zoning changes permitting greater height and density.  The ANC is likely to vote on a proposed lease for the space at its September 12 meeting.

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